Giving the great Dick Allen his second post here on the blog this week, this time with a 1977 N.L. Centennial special in my on-going thread celebrating the Senior League's 100th anniversary of 1976 with a special sub-set:
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Dick Allen, even as a kid before I knew of all the controversy surrounding the lightning rod of a personality that the "Wampum Warrior" was throughout his career.
Sounds absurd, but it started way back in 1976 when my cousin (who was a few years older and got me into collecting cards) kept joking about the name "Dick Allen". Really makes no sense now, but it had us in stitches all day long, and ever since then I was hooked on this guy with the funny name and killer stats.
No one can take away from what he accomplished as a major leaguer: Rookie of the Year in 1964, Most Valuable Player in 1972, near Triple Crown that year, and leading his league in twelve statistical categories over his career.
It's easy to overlook the fact that in only 6332 career at-bats the man had 351 homers, 1119 runs batted in and 1848 hits.
To put that in perspective, Hank Aaron had almost DOUBLE the career at-bats as Allen.
Now, I'm not trying to say that Allen could have been as consistent as Aaron was throughout his career, but it IS amazing to see what Allen accomplished at the plate in 6000+ at-bats.
The man was a force when he was healthy, but sadly, he just couldn't sustain it over the course of a nice, long, FULL career.
There are some guys I'll find ANY reason to design a card for, and Allen is definitely one of them!
Hope to have more here in the future…